Flowing artesian well in the meadow near the *Laghi di Fusine-superiore*, Valromana, Italia. (c) 2009 Michael Gäbler (CC BY 3.0). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Formalism vs. Constructivism in Software Development

E. Forrest Christian Computers/IT, Reviews - Articles Leave a Comment

West reviews the philosophical underpinnings of the battle between structured programming and object-oriented programming. It’s an interesting read, as he goes back to the basic fight between the rationalist/formalist Enlightenment camp and their pesky detractors, variously called “hermeneutics”, “constructivist” or “interpretationalism”. We will not see an end to this fight, he argues, since the basis of the differences between the true object-orienteds folks (hermeneutics) and the objects-as-code-pieces folks (rationalists) comes down to axiomatic philosophical differences.

Folks, this is the same argument as it is between the Hierarchy-focused organizational thinkers of Requisite Organization and the Social Network organizational thinkers. Let’s play matchmaker!

“Paradigm Lost: Lessons from the Object (non-)Revolution” by David M. West, in Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEET ’98), February 1998, pp. 76-

Accessible from the ACM Digital Library.

Image Credit: “Flowing artesian well in the meadow near the ‘Laghi di Fusine-superiore’, Valromana, Italia.” (c) 2009 Michael Gäbler. (CC BY 3.0)

About the Author

Forrest Christian

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E. Forrest Christian is a consultant, coach, author, trainer and speaker at The Manasclerk Company who helps individuals and companies find insight and solutions to what seem like insolvable problems. Cited for his "unique ability and insight" by his clients, Forrest has worked with people from almost every background, from artists to programmers to executives to global consultants, both as individuals and as leaders of organizations at least as diverse. [contact]

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